Warhol Brigitte Bardot portrait could bring $6.4m at London auction

Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Michael Jackson... legendary pop artist Andy Warhol immortalised them all with his iconic screen prints. Now it's the turn of Brigitte Bardot, whose portrait by Warhol is expected to bring $6.4m at auction.

Warhol's work was originally commissioned by Bardot's ex-husband Gunter Sachs, the photographer, author and industrialist. Sachs requested the piece in 1974, five years after his divorce from Bardot.

Sachs was philosophical about the break-up, however, once commenting that "a year with Bardot was worth 10 with anyone else."

Pop Artist Andy Warhol's portrait of Brigitte Bardot

The collection is for sale less than a year after Sachs's suicide in May 2011. His suicide note mentioned that he didn't want to live with "hopeless illness A", which many believe referred to Alzheimer's disease.

Warhol's Bardot is one of 300 works from the German playboy's art collection which are auctioning at Sotheby's. Rare and coveted artworks by Roy Lichtenstein, Rene Magritte and Salvador Dali are also for sale.

Sachs's collection is expected to bring $32m in total in London on May 22-23.

The $6.4m presale estimate for Warhol's portrait of Bardot actually seems rather modest compared to the astronomical results achieved by his other iconic pop art works.

Warhol's Silver Liz, a portrait of Elizabeth Taylor, brought $18.3m at an auction in May 2010. And his Turquoise Marilyn, one of Warhol's many portraits of Some Like It Hot star Monroe, is believed to have brought $80m in 2007.

Watch this space for more news from Sotheby's auction.

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